The solar industry has provided the major challenge to date to business as usual in the power sector. Solar has ‘turned the grid on its head’ and provided unprecedented opportunities for diverse new entrants to invest in and innovate with clean power. Indeed, solar has been the catalyst for major technological development globally, particularly in storage and network operations. Solar therefore sits naturally at the heart of a smart system and it is uniquely placed to form the bedrock of a clean energy future. The unparalleled cost reduction potential of solar, acknowledge by BEIS, combined with the tremendous benefits of a smart, flexible system outlined by the NIC mean that a smart energy system can also be the cheapest.
In response to the BEIS/Ofgem call for evidence, the STA proposes 6 key priorities:
- The Spring Plan should identify early actions that will accelerate market access for flexibility services on the distribution networks and services in ancillary markets. Every opportunity should
be taken to expedite appropriate incentives on DNOs (including through the RIIO-ED1 reopener) and the TSO to open up competitive markets in smart services.
- A clear definition of storage should be implemented as a priority and other barriers should be removed immediately, as identified in the call for evidence.
- BEIS/Ofgem need to define proposals on the target DSO model and TO/SO interface and put in place proper incentives to deliver these now to enable local markets for smart power.
- BEIS/Ofgem need to commission an independent holistic review of network charging within the context of the policy intent of a smart, flexible energy system.
- Given BEIS/Ofgem’s commitment to smart power there must be greater joined-up thinking and alignment across all aspects of energy policy instead of the current silo approach. This includes level playing fields and market access for renewables & fair treatment in the tax framework.
- Crucially, a timetabled action plan needs to be published alongside the Spring Plan.
Download our response to the call for evidence below.